Does this happen to you? No matter how carefully you fold and pack your clothes, they still come out of the suitcase looking less than presentable.
While most of us today travel with wash-n-wear clothes, not everyone can afford to travel with a scrunched up wardrobe. Especially if you are on business, or need to look great when you arrive at your destination.
This is where the best carry-on garment bag can save your clothes, and your trip from disaster.
The following are some of the best options out there to help you carry your best clothes or suits on your next trip. Ranging from bi-folds, tri-folds through wheeled garment bags, there is lots of choice.
At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Carry-On Garment Bags
Briggs & Riley Baseline Domestic
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Samsonite Garment Bag
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Zegur 40-inch 3 Suit Carry-On
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Travelpro Crew Versapack Carry-on Rolling Garment Bag
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Victorinox Luggage Unisex Werks Garment Sleeve 6.0
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Most wheeled garment bags you will find are made with a horizontal build, which makes the Briggs & Riley garment bag unusual. The upright build is extremely useful, however, when you're rolling your bag through the plane aisles and avoid hitting the seats. This is, after all, a post about carry-on garment bags.
The aluminum telescopic handles are fixed outside of the bag so it doesn't eat up packing space. The durable ballistic nylon case also protects your items even if your bag ends up being tossed around.
There are two compartments that both open clam-shell style.
The front compartment holds the suits and is a tri-fold garment bag. It has restraining side panels to keep your suit in place. It can fit up to two suits (or three for the ladies).
There is a wally clamp to hold your own wire hangers. There are two removable zipped mesh pockets in the corners, good for underwear, socks and a belt.
The main compartment has space for other items and clothing. It can also be opened while in the upright position. Side gusset straps keep the front section from opening all the way and spilling your items. A pair of adjustable restraining panels with two small interior pockets built in keep all your clothes from falling out if you open this compartment while the case is upright. Half of the lid of this compartment features a zipped mesh pocket for soiled garments and the other half features two elastic top slip pockets for shoes.
If you still need more space, there are two more pockets on the outside of the bag. It also has a Smartlink strap that you can attach to another wheeled bag if needed.
Samsonite is well-known for its durable and long-wearing luggage products, so this is one of the most popular wheeled garment bags in the market.
This Samsonite Garment Bag is 100% polyester for a water-resistant finish. It measures 11.8 x 22.5 x 22.2 inches, which is beyond the size restrictions of some airlines. However, most of the time I am sure you will at least get it in the overhead. And many reviewers have claimed, however, and the bag will still fit in the overhead bins. At 13.2 lbs, this is also one of the heavier wheeled garment bags you will find. With these dimensions, it can be a bit awkward. It's too big for ultra-light business travelers, and too small for heavy packers. However, for some, it might still be the perfect travel garment bag!
A full zippered panel opens up to reveal the main compartment of the bag. The top part holds a hanger hook. There are zippered mesh corner pockets on either side for smaller items or accessories. There is a handy shoe comparment below the suit, and smaller interior pockets at the top for things like ties.
The second portion of the fold-out can also accommodate neatly folded shirts, to help you start fresh and fast when you arrive. And the 3-panel suiter in this bag is perfect for those who want to arrive wrinkle-free and start work in a flash.
Tech-wise, Samsonite have also included a dedicated USB port so you can charge on the go too. Handy if you ask me!
If you're a heavy traveler, it's always good to invest in sturdy luggage that will last your for a long time. That doesn't mean, however, that good products are always expensive.
The Zegur Garment Bag is a steal, especially for the quality and organization you get with just this one bag.
Another sleek and slim design, this bag will fit in any overhead bin at 23 x 22 x 4 inches. Again, make sure to check your airline restrictions on size limitations as the dimensions of this bag is not standard for all. But, it weighs a mere 2 lbs.
The dual-fold bag has several internal zippers and pockets to keep everything organized. It maximizes storage capacity for the interior of the bag, and expands storage options with a big external pocket big enough for folders and electronics.
A cloth panel fully unzips to reveal the garment compartment. It has a hook at the top for the hangers, with three dual-buckle straps to keep the garments in place and wrinkle-free. Because there are no thick materials for the interior, the bag is flexible enough to hold up to three suits.
If it doesn't fit your travel needs, they offer 100% money-back guarantee. Even better is the bag is made of 1800D Polyester making it sturdy and waterproof.
This bag is very well thought out.
A non-wheeled option is great if you need to be careful of weight limits for carry-on baggage. The Victorinox Luggage Werks Garment Sleeve is a mere 4.3 lbs., leaving you with enough weight for your actual garments too. Which is great if you have an important business trip.
This garment bag is sleek and streamlined and is easy to carry around for long periods of time. It may seem too slim at 24.8 x 21.3 x 2 inches, but it's very well designed and it's possible to fit in all the clothes you need plus miscellaneous travel accessories. Just like a Swiss Army Knife! (It is Swiss made, after all!)
Portability is one of the key advantages of this bag. There's a removable, padded, adjustable shoulder strap for hands-free travel, the top handle that can be held together with snap closures, and a back strap you can slip onto a telescopic luggage handle. This back strap is zippered so you can convert it to a pocket. There are so many options, it's hard to keep count.
The front of the bag has a zippered pocket for smaller and quick items. The main compartment for your garments features a hanger clamp and adjustable bar / compression straps to keep your suits in place.
The garment bag folds out in via the snaps at the top, which keep it all in place. The first thing you notice inside is various large zippered compartments to store your goodies. There is also a handy hook which stows away, but can quickly be added to the outside to hang wherever you are staying.
The main ilk in this bag is you won't be able to complete your look because there are no spaces to keep your shoes. While it's possible to fit those in, you'll have to have your own pouch or carrier for it (or throw them in your other luggage). The space above the shoulders of the garment is also not easily utilized with the lack of corner pockets.
The "10" in this bag means it's on its 10th version, which means there are many aspects and features of a carry-on garment bag that they've perfected.
The Travelpro Crew Garment Bag is one of the most stable wheeled garment bag out there. And absolutely great for business trips!
Its Powerscope telescopic handle is designed for comfort and minimizes wobble while on the move. It also locks mid-way so business travelers of different heights can use this bag comfortably.
There are two leather handles for hauling the bag. The top handle is for carriage while the bottom handle is for pulling the bag from the overhead bin.
Much thought has also been put in the material. It is 100% nylon with protective Dura guard coating for water resistance. The interior is treated with waterproof coating to keep all your garments safe. It's also treated with Duraflex technology, making the bag almost indestructible and impossible to break into.
There are two external pockets for small items or jackets and documents. The main compartment has a metal hanger clamp at the top, in between two removable mesh pockets for small items and accessories. There are adjustable hold-down clamps and a foam-padded roll bar to keep suits in place and wrinkle-free. An extension panel also folds out of the bag for longer garments.
The inside of the lid has organization pockets and a compression strap to keep clothes on that side from falling out.
You'll definitely have no problem bringing this as a carry-on as the Travelpro Crew 10 is most commonly used by airline cabin crew, and for good reason. At 22 x 14 x 9 inches, it will fit most size limitations for carry-on luggage. The biggest drawback for this bag is the weight at 10 lbs. It's a hefty number and can be limiting especially on budget airlines.
AmazonBasics is of course Amazon's own brand that is aimed at providing quality at affordable prices. And this bi-fold garment travel bag doesn't disappoint.
It has ample room for up to 3 suits, with tie-downs to help keep things in place while on the go. It also comes with roomy interior pockets for all those extras that you will want to bring along. Even enough room for shoes. And because the pockets are made from mesh, you won't have to worry about letting your clothing breath.
Amazon have also provided pockets for those smaller items, in case you don't have another bag for them. So, things like pens, smaller electronics etc are stowed safely while you are traveling, but are still relatively easy access.
And best of all, it comes with Amazon's limited one year warranty should anything go wrong.
In terms of carrying, it comes with a decent carry handle, but lacks a shoulder strap which is handy if you have other luggage with you.
When choosing the best carry on garment bag you need to keep in mind a few specific features. The following is a quick guide to help you pick the best option for you.
In general, garment bags are not meant to be carry-on. Make sure you pay extra attention to the size of your bag and the size restrictions of the airline. The most common size limit for a carry-on is 22 x 14 x 9 Inches, so this is a safe bet. Some airlines will allow a bigger bag by an inch or two, but if you tend to fly with different airlines, better stick to the general size.
There are bi-folds, tri-folds, and wheeled bags. While all these garment bags mainly keep everything wrinkle-free, it's still up to your personal preference.
Bi-Fold Garment Bags - As the name suggest, this kind of bag folds in two, right down the middle. This means less creases, while still saving space. However, it is a compromise, as they are usually longer than tri-folds. However, once you hang them at your destination, the folds usually reduce. Especially once you wear them.
Tri-Fold Garment Bags - These garment bags fold twice, into three, to save even more space. However, as mentioned above, this means you get one more major fold. Whether this is an issue for you or not, I can't say. Just be aware of it.
Non-Wheel Garment Bags - The non-wheeled bags are usually handy if you don't want to unpack and just hang the garment bag right away. They are also considerably lighter, which will come in handy especially on budget airlines.
Wheeled or Rolling Garment Bags - A wheeled garment bag will give you a bit more space and comfort since you don't have to carry it around. But they may not always be the best carry on luggage for suits.
Depending on what kind of packer you are, there are bags with many pockets to maximize storage space, while there are some that have minimal extra features to keep things light and sleek. Some bags are also treated to be water-resistant, which is important if you really want to keep your suits protected (other than being wrinkle-free).
The best travel garment bag for you depends on where you usually go. A big differentiating factor for these bags are the size and weight measurements. It also depends on how many suits you're supposed to carry.
Frequent flyers and international travelers will never go wrong with the Travelpro Crew 11 Garment Bag. It's beyond sturdy and secure. You can bring this as a carry-on or toss it in with checked luggage without a problem. It also has more than enough space for your suits or formal wear plus extra clothing that are not as sensitive.
A great affordable purchase is the Zegur Garment Bag. It's a lesser known brand but delivers the same quality and performance. It's also one of the most lightweight bags, which will save you from paying excess baggage on budget airlines.
For something in-between, the Briggs & Riley Upright Garment Bag is an excellent choice. Rolling it between aisles will never be a problem. It has enough space for your suits and clothes for a quick business trip. It can also double as your general travel bag even without the suits and formal wear. The dimensions are also within the limits of most airlines around the world.
Of course, no bag can completely prevent wrinkles. However, a carry on garment bag does a great job of reducing wrinkles by keeping things flat, and reducing the number of folds in your clothes. Keep in mind, a Bi-fold will have one less fold than a tri-fold too.
This is very dependent on the size of the garment bag you buy and you should definitely read the specifications and reviews before you buy one. In general, smaller/slimmer bags only fit one size, while more sizeable bags can fit two or three. So, you have options, you just need to pick the right one for how many suits you plan on carrying.
In almost all cases, garment bags are considered as carry on by airlines. As such, be aware of your carry on limits when you are taking one.
One way to avoid this issue is to squeeze it into your carry on bag if possible. However, in many cases, this will defeat the purpose of a carry on completely. In that case, if you want to keep your garment bag as carry on, you may have to check in something else
Carry on garment bags usually easily fit into the overhead bins of most planes. In the case of a smaller inter-city plane, you may want to check ahead of time with the airline. Some have specific hanging space in the front of the plane. However, often this is reserved for first class or business class passengers.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!